How to install laminate flooring

Updated July 20, 2017

Installing laminate flooring can give a new lease of life to any room in your home, and it is fairly easy to fit. Laminate flooring most commonly comes in planks of composite wood that have a printed image of wood grain on the surface to make them look like wooden planks. These planks fit together with a tongue-and-groove slotting system that locks together in place. Using laminate flooring can make your rooms look as if they have real hardwood flooring at a fraction of the cost.


Clean the floor and remove any carpet grippers. Hammer in any protruding nails or glue down any tiles that are coming away from the floor.

Open the flooring packets and leave the planks in the room for two days before fitting. This allows the flooring to acclimatise to your room and will give any expansion or contraction of the planks enough time to take place.

Lay underlay across the floor, ensuring that all edges meet and the entire area of the floor is evenly covered. Start by laying your first strip against one wall and repeat until finished.

Install the first plank with the groove against the wall. It is easier to start against the longest wall as planks will need less cutting.

Fit spacers behind the plank to allow for expansion of the floor in future. Add spacers at regular intervals along any wall-floor joins. Around 12 inches is a good margin between each spacer. Spacers are also needed at the end of each plank.

Match the tongue side of the next plank to the groove side of the plank already fitted and tap into place with a hammer. Holding a block or spare piece of laminate between the flooring and the hammer will protection your new floor from damage.

Continue adding planks until the flooring is complete. Some planks will need cutting to fit with a tenon saw. Stagger joints between each row for a less uniform finish and to add strength to your floor joints.

Add a door trim or threshold to any places where your room meets other rooms or other types of flooring. The door trim or threshold fits over the top of the flooring join and can be cut to fit and glued in place.


Remove the spacers around the edge of the floor.

Measure each wall and cut corresponding sections of moulding.

Cut the end of each piece of moulding to the correct angle using your protractor. Internal wall joints usually need a 45 degree angle cut, but this will differ for each corner.

Fit the moulding, also known as scotia boards, to the edge of the room where your planks meet the skirting boards.

Glue in place and allow to dry.


If laying laminate flooring over the top of existing floorboards, lay the flooring at a right angle to the floorboards to strengthen joints.

Buy more flooring than you need to allow for cutting pieces to fit into your room. Ten per cent extra is the general rule to follow.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Glue
  • Underlay
  • Laminate flooring
  • Spacers
  • Tenon saw
  • Thresholds
  • Tape measure
  • Floor moulding
  • Protractor
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